Exploring Asia’s diverse cultural heritage

Art March 08, 2019 01:00


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Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) will embark on a Season of Chinese Art from June 2019 to mid-2020 with three exhibitions being held in collaboration with leading Chinese institutions and artists.

This is part of the museum’s commitment to examine the diverse cultural heritage of Asia, interconnections within Asia, and Asian connections with the rest of the world.

“Chinese history boasts an incredible richness, and its international influence continues to permeate today’s pop culture, fashion, and everyday life. By bringing together exquisite masterpieces from Singapore’s National Collection and collections from China’s leading museums and a wellknown couturiere, we hope our visitors will engage with Chinese heritage and traditions, and reflect on China’s long and illustrious art history. We also hope Chinese visitors will seize the opportunity to visit us in Singapore, to experience, firsthand, the historic and contemporary fascination with Chinese art and heritage in Southeast Asia,” says Kennie Ting, director of ACM.


The first show is “Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture” to be held from June 15 to September15. Known perhaps most famously for the now-iconic yellow cape American celebrity Rihanna wore to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala in 2015, Guo Pei is China’s preeminent couturiere, recognised for the depth of craftsmanship, Chinese historical references, and beauty in her fantastical works.

Conceived in collaboration with Guo Pei, the exhibition will display 29 of her most iconic embroidered masterworks in dialogue with 20 Chinese art masterpieces from ACM’s collection. The juxtapositions will invite visitors to consider how contemporary Chinese fashion has roots in traditional Chinese art and aesthetics. Exploring Guo Pei’s impact on everyday lives beyond the runway, many of her intricate Chinese bridal gowns – including two directly inspired by artworks in the Singapore National Collection – will also be displayed for the first time. 

Later this year, a special exhibition will showcase the collection of Southeast Asia’s renowned Chinese art collector, the late Dr Tan Tsze Chor. On show from November to February 2020, the exhibition will feature paintings by important modern Chinese masters like Ren Bonian, Qi Baishi, and Xu Beihong. It will explore how Chinese art and culture was appreciated by overseas networks of Chinese artists, collectors, and philanthropists in the 1950s through 1980s.

The Season of Chinese Art will also bring masterpieces of Ming-dynasty art to Singapore. The collaboration with Shanghai Museum will see highlights from the Tang Shipwreck collection at ACM travel to Shanghai in a firstever special exhibition in China. Containing a remarkable cargo of more than 50,000 ceramics as well as luxurious objects of gold and silver, the Tang Shipwreck collection is proof that longdistance maritime trade routes existed as early as the 9th century.

For more information, visit www.Acm.org.sg.